Sharjah-UAE: April 6, 2015 - His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Chairman of the Sharjah Executive Council, honoured the winners of the second edition of the Sharjah Government Communication Award (GCA) at a special award ceremony organised by Sharjah Media Centre (SMC) on 5 April at Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre in Sharjah.
Speaking at the ceremony, His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Centre, thanked His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad bin Sultan Al Qasimi for his unlimited support and relentless efforts in promoting and developing government communication practices and related initiatives in the emirate. He also thanked the Sharjah Executive Council for its innovative policies and strategies that have accelerated the pace of growth in the emirate and enhanced its prospects.
In his speech, His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi praised His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, for prioritising the important role of government communication and directing all government and semi-government organisations in the emirate to step up their government communication practices. He said SMC aims to articulate the Ruler of Sharjah's strategy to bring about a fundamental and historic shift in the understanding of the relationship between the government, its institutions and the public, and also between people of different intellectual backgrounds, opinions and attitudes towards important issues of public concern.
The SMC Chairman noted that Sharjah's role in enhancing its government communication practices aligns with the overall vision of the UAE, which prioritises the interests of its people. He applauded the wise vision of the country's leadership for making the UAE a role model in the field of government communication.
On the significant progress achieved by the Sharjah GCA, His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi said: "In its second edition, this award has witnessed greater momentum and participation by government communication departments from across the UAE. GCA advocates the spirit of competition, innovation and exchange of experiences to serve the public interest. The award recognises those who have excelled in the emerging field of government communication for their out-of-the-box ideas and outstanding contributions towards establishing best-in-class government communication practices in the UAE and wider region."
He added: "Achieving a better future for human relations is the fundamental purpose of developing government communication practices. This goal aligns beautifully with what we seek to sustain and promote in the UAE in general and the emirate of Sharjah in particular through honouring those involved in developing the content and processes of government communication that ultimately help bridge distances between various segments of the society."
The Chairman of SMC also thanked the judging panel of the Sharjah GCA for its neutrality, objectivity and high professionalism in evaluating the submissions in line with the award's criteria. He added that the criteria reflected those applied in evaluation processes of other distinguished awards worldwide, positioning Sharjah GCA as the highest achievement sought in the field of government communication in both the UAE and the Arab region.
The second edition of Sharjah GCA honoured winners in 12 categories, including three dedicated to submissions from the GCC region, six to entries from the UAE, and three to Sharjah-based nominations for various communication processes carried out by government communication departments, including strategic planning, internal communication approach, methods of crisis management, communication campaigns, and the appropriate use of social networking platforms.
The GCA winners included Khaled Zidjali, Chairman and Founder of the Oman Film Society and Consultant at the Public Authority for Radio and TV in Oman, for Media Personality of the Year - GCC; MBC Group for Leadership in Media -GCC; Sharjah Investment and Development Authority "Shurooq" for Best Practice in Government Communication in Sharjah; Nada Al Suwaidi, Head of the Communication Department at Sharjah Municipality, for Best Official Spokesperson in Sharjah; Sharjah Electricity & Water Authority for Best Government Website in Sharjah; Sharjah Municipality for Best Crisis Management in the UAE; UAE Ministry of Economy for Best Strategic Government Communication Plan in the UAE; Sharjah Police General Headquarters for Best Government Social Media Practice in the UAE; Dubai Police General Headquarters for Best Government Intercommunication Practice in the UAE; UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Best Government Communication Campaign in the UAE, and the University of Sharjah graduate Walid Al Asbahi for Best Graduation Project on Government Communication in the UAE.
Speaking on behalf of the GCA's judging panel, Dr Sulaiman Al-Hattlan, Founder and CEO of Hattlan Media, said: "SMC received more than 80 entries from various government institutions and individuals from Sharjah and the wider UAE. A select committee was constituted to verify that the entries complied with the criteria established for different categories. Following the second stage of screening, 42 entries qualified for the final stage of evaluation. Based on the scores achieved, the shortlisted entries were put through a further review to arrive at the names of the eventual winners."
He added: "The judging panel members worked in a completely professional manner, and exercised the greatest integrity and independence to reach an objective final decision. I would like to pay special tribute to the Sharjah GCA team at Sharjah Media Centre for their creditable efforts and dedication. I also thank all the 35 institutions from across the UAE that participated in the second edition of this award."
In addition to His Highness the Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, the ceremony was attended by HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Central Finance Department in Sharjah; HE Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of SMC; HE Sheikh Khalid bin Essam Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Civil Aviation Department in Sharjah; HE Sheikh Sultan bin Abdullah Al Thani, Director of the Civil Aviation Department in Sharjah; Major-General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina; Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police; Mohammed Mir Abdullah Al Raisi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Younis Khoury, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance; Zahra Al Aboudi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Public Works; Eng Mohammed Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy; Khamis bin Salem Al Suwaidi, Chairman of the Department of Suburbs and Villages Affairs in Sharjah; Tariq bin Khadim, Chairman of the Directorate of Human Resources in Sharjah; Eng Khalifa Misbah al Tunaiji, Chairman of the Housing Department in Sharjah; Mohammed Ali Al Noman, Chairman of Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority; Rashid Al Leem, Chairman of Sharjah Electricity & Water Authority; Ibrahim Al Abed, Director General of the National Media Council, and Osama Samra, Director of SMC.
Also attending the ceremony were a number of thought leaders, senior government officials and public figures from the UAE and Arab region, as well as local, regional and international media representatives.
About Sharjah Government Communication Award (GCA):
The Sharjah Government Communication Award is organised under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Chairman of the Sharjah Executive Council, as the first of its kind locally, regionally and internationally.
The Award recognises the achievements of outstanding organisations and individuals in the media and communications field and aims to encourage best practices, proactive ideas and dedicated participation in the communication sector across countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
For more information please contact:
Asma Al Juwaid
Government Communication Initiatives
Sharjah Media Centre
Phone: +971 6 5123456
Phone: + 971 4 375 5877
© Press Release 2015